Clint Eastwood said it. Sean “Puffy” Combs did too. So did Former Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key (among many others):

“You get out of life what you put into it.”

But “life” is such a broad topic, right?

How do you apply this idea to successful business marketing?

You could modify it to: “You get out of your customers what you give up to them.”

Your marketing should showcase what you will give up.

The Offer

For your business to succeed well into the future, you have to put out an offer. This, of course, is so obvious that it hurts, but we have to say it because there are businesses out there that spend good money on marketing that contains no offer.

Think about that: You come home after work and you find a door hanger on your front doorknob: “Jack’s Burger Shack.” It has their address and phone number and their menu. That’s it.

Every other fast-food place in town has an offer: “two-for-one” or “10% off” or “Free Delivery.” Jack’s makes no offer. So why should you become their customer?

No offer = no new customer.

In your industry, some or all of your competitors are putting out offers. Some of them may be good (and it pays to analyze what they’re doing), but frankly, yours has to smoke (not like the charbroiler at Jack’s)—it’s got to be better than what your competition is offering.

Offers That Create Customers

To create the best possible offer, take a long-range viewpoint. Consider that you want to acquire a customer and keep them for as long as possible.

Figure out the lifetime value (LTV) of your average customer. Here is a simple way to get an estimate:

  • Work out the dollar amount of the average sale.
  • Multiply it by the number of sales the average customer makes in a year (or week, or month, depending on your business)
  • Multiply it by the average customer lifespan (the years, weeks, or months they remain a customer)

When you know how much you can maximally expect to earn from a customer, you get a better grip on what you can give up in order to acquire that customer.

This isn’t just a matter of how much you should spend on marketing but of what you can give away, in terms of:

  • Complimentary Service
  • Free Consultation
  • Discounts
  • Extras
  • Freebies
  • Etc.

This kind of talk makes some small business owners nervous. They end up making “meh” offers (or, like Jack’s, no offer).

Skip the nervousness. Take the long view (sales, more sales, ROI out the gazoo, and referrals too). Give up as much as you can. Make a great offer. Get the customer.

When you’ve worked out your offer, head over to and design, print, and mail a postcard that people won’t be able to refuse.

And if time is something you can’t “give up” much of right now, call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109; we can handle the design and everything else for you.